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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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Nato 20, Gadhafi 17, U.s. 16, Us 10, Elizabeth Taylor 5, Moammar Gadhafi 5, Cnn 5, Egypt 4, Benghazi 4, U.n. 4, Ajdabiya 4, Tripoli 4, Washington 4, United States 3, Cialis 3, North Africa 3, New York 3, Wolf Blitzer 2, Butler 2, Geico 2,
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  CNN    The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    March 26, 2011
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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main hospital. rebels are trying to push back but they have only light weapons. i'm don lemon at cnn world headquarters in atlanta. thanks for joining us. one hour from now the disaster in japan, from the devastation and death to the severe economic impact of the quake and tsunami. that's at 7:00 p.m. eastern. in the meantime, "the situation room with wolf blitzer" begins now. a change in command over coalition air strikes in libya is in the works now this hour. the terms and limits of nato's new role. what it means for the mission and for u.s. forces. libyan rebels now have a new hope of pushing back moammar gadhafi's fighters. we'll tell you about a man who sacrificed his life to help the opposition. plus, the dangers and challenges in the disaster zone of japan. brian todd has an account of the search and rescuers. and our crew, what all of them experienced in the quake and tsunami wreckage. welcome to our viewers in the
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united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." [ explosion ] first to a key battleground city where rebels are making headway in the battle to seize controlle from moammar gadhafi. here's cnn's arwa damon. >> reporter: this does look a bit more organized than we have seen the opposition on the front line in the past. we find the front line a short distance away from the northern entrance to ajdabiya. gadhafi's troops still control it and the western road. so you're saying these air strikes destroyed three tanks -- gadhafi tanks positioned at the entrance to ajdabiya.
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they are explaining that there are a few more that gadhafi's forces have dug into the sand in between the trees. the poorly equipped opposition fighters are still struggling in the face of the ongoing artillery and tank barrage. we are seeing a unit move in and we are told that they are planning to try to loop around and launch an assault from one of the other entrances onto the city. among those on the front is massoud. you're a musician and a fighter? >> yes. i became a fighter only two weeks ago. >> reporter: what kind of music? >> i play african and european music. >> reporter: how old are you? >> i'm 36 years. >> reporter: 36. >> i'm married with two kids and my wife is pregnant. >> reporter: the fighting has been so intense it's hard for anyone to get into the city for nearly a week now. when was the last time you heard anything about the civilians in
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ajdabiya? >> they have no water. they have no electricity. they have no medicine. they are in a very, very bad situation. a lot of them can't leave. >> reporter: because they are in the part that gadhafi's troops control. >> yes, yes. control, yes. they start shooting us. >> reporter: snipers? >> by snipers. they killed this morning a lot of people by snipers and by attacks. there is people dying. we cannot reach them. if we want to -- we try to reach them, but the snipers shoot us a lot. >> reporter: how many? >> i am not so sure. >> nine. >> about nine people. we're just civilians. we have no leader. but we are trying. we are trying. >> reporter: from what we are seeing it seems as if the opposition is slowly pushing
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this front line forward. but based on what the fighters are telling us, they have not yet been able to deal gadhafi's military that final blow that would allow the opposition to have full control over ajdabiya. arwa damon, libya. >> cnn's senior international correspondent nic robertson got a firsthand look at the results of a missile strike on a naval facility in tripoli. watch this. >> reporter: this is very obviously, very obviously a military facility here. government officials are saying this was just a repair facility. they're saying nothing was working here at this particular facility. when you look inside, the bodies of the rocket launchers here, there are no missiles inside them, but there is plenty of evidence to support the best assessment that this was very much a military target, that it had an ongoingle military
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operation. four mobile rocket systems destroyed in the attack. other equipment not damaged. the government not so happy for us to see. the writing on them here is in cyrrilic but we are told this is a repair facility for certainly the missile systems. written on here, writing in arabic, but clearly from what we are see here, russian made. >> no, no, no. >> okay. >> reporter: so what was this facility? >> you see some cars. >> reporter: you have a rocket launcher. >> this is a rocket. this is launchererlaunchers, bu inside not active. >> reporter: there are rockets stored around the corner here. >> you see, i'm not from this department, but i know this is a big store. >> reporter: the strike here was a little over 12 hours ago. the smoldering wreckage is still burning here. this looks like cables that have
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been on fire here. this is a crater from one of the missiles. and this gives you an idea of just how deep and big this hole is. therefore an idea of the size and scale of scope of the missiles being fired in here. we're right in the harbor facility here. just around the corner -- and i'm going to take you to look at it now, i have just spotted it. this is the harbor facility and not far from here there are libyan naval vessels. i'm looking over there and i can see what appears to be some sort of anti-aircraft gun, a weapon mounted up there. officials say few injuries here. debris all around the dock yard. it's not clear why the government has brought us to this place that is so obviously, obviously a military facility, but perhaps the answer is there on that burnt out rocket launcher. the man passing down the picture
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of moammar gadhafi. they seem to want to show that, a, they are victims and, b, that they are not backing down. nic robertson, cnn, tripoli, libya. president obama is facing criticism for the u.s. mission in libya. the new york times columnist nick christoff joins us with his thoughts. plus, stand by for dramatic stories of libyan rebels outgunned by pro-gadhafi forces and a man's sacrifice to help them fight back. our own brian todd shares his personal account of time in the japan disaster zone. and the heroic work of search and rescue crews. the radically new 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. welcome to the darker side of green. see your lexus dealer. p.a.: it's a four-bedroom traditional home on an acre-and-a-half landscaped yard. the master suite has two walk-in closets and a completely updated master bath. there's a totally renovated chef's kitchen,
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the commander in charge of u.s. operations in libya says coalition forces are not directly supporting rebel fighters, but there are growing questions about whether that should change. joining us now from cairo nick kristof, the columnist for the new york times back in the middle east right now. nick, is it time for the u.s. -- do you believe -- to do more as far as helping the opposition in libya? for example, arming the rebels? >> i would be a little bit wary of arming the rebels, partly because there is suspicion of u.s. involvement there and partly because you always wonder what will happen to the weapons after the fact. i also think that gulf countries are already engaging in providing them with arms and ammunition which they critically need. so i don't know that the u.s.
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needs to do that. what is really critically needed and what i think the u.s. really can do is to continue to be involved in the air strikes to do some jamming of libyan military communications and civilian propaganda and to hit the heavy artillery and the armor that libya has. >> because you write in your column in "the new york times" that the u.s.le should jam the radio and tv broadcasts of gadhafi -- of the libyan government, if you will, because that's helping him and his war against the opposition. >> yeah. it's not because anybody in libya actually believes that propaganda. they know much better than we do that the propaganda is full of lies, but what it does do is signal to the libyan elite, to the libyan military that he is weak, that ultimately he will be going down. what we really need to do is try to peel off the libyan military
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and the libyan elite from gadhafi and make them realize -- and a lot of them are opportunists. they want to be on the winning side -- and make it clear gadhafi won't be on the winning side. cutting out his radio and tv would be a step to doing that. >> and the goal, though the u.n. security council resolution is narrower, the ultimate goal, i assume you believe, should be getting rid of gadhafi as leader of libya. >> yes. and the reason the arab league is behind this, the reason we have the international coalition to protect civilians is because the world does regard gadhafi as a national security threat, as somebody who endangers the world as well. while it isn't in the u.n. resolution that's clearly the aim of what's going on. nobody knows how to get there. there are uncertainties about that, but it is the aim. i think that it is reasonable though we don't quite know how it's going to happen, that as
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his regime loses its military assets, as the momentum on the battlefield begins to turn that gadhafi's days at some point are going to be numbered. i hope that point is soon. >> whatever happens in libya, how important is the message that will go out of libya to the rest of north africa, the middle east in terms of the dictators who were watching what's happening in libya now? >> i think one of the problems worldwide has been not only that there is immunity for massacring citizens but frankly a benefit that, you know, the empirical lesson if you are a dick today e tor is if you make concessions to protesters, if your army does not shoot them then you may have to make retirement plans. you may lose a lot of wealth. on the other hand, if you open firen oh them, you may secure your position and your children's position. we have to change that. it was striking that when sri lanka cracked down and used
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ruthless means that it promptly got visits from the burmese military junta. they wanted to study how you go about cracking down on the civilian population. i think it would be dangerous to send the message out from libya that gadhafi, by attacking hospitals, by mowing down civilians is going to do what mubarak and ben ali weren't able to do. >> when should the u.s. intervene in a country where awful things are happening like libya as opposed to the ivory coast or sudan, darfur? what's the benchmark? >> well, i think that a lot of critics, especially liberal critics, are pointing to the u.s. involvement in libya and saying this is inconsistent, this is hypocritical because you are intervening with a country with oil and you don't intervene in a country that undergoes
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terrible humanitarian disasters for longer that doesn't have oil. i think we have to plead guilty. there is a real inconsistency there. you have to start somewhere. one of the oldest problems in the world of humanitarianism and international relations is what you do when a leader begins to devour his people. we are not going to intervene in every case, but in some cases we will be able to build an international coalition and there will be the popular support that will make it clear that we can actually accomplish something. so i think that in this case we should do it. i would point out that in other areas of humanitarian intervention like feeding the starving, we don't have to say that unless we reach every starving child it's not worth it. just because we didn't intervene in some cases we still should have intervened in bosnia. i think we should have intervened in rwanda. i would love more international
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attention to the tragedy in ivory coast, but if we can't muster the guo do that let's he libya. >> appreciate it very much. thank you. >> my pleasure. so just what does nato's new role in the libyan role mean for u.s. forces? i'll ask a former commander of the nato alliance. plus, surviving in japan's disaster zone. our own brian todd back sharing his experience covering the crisis. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at onstar.com to enter without a blue onstar button.
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meteorologist .
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the official death toll in japan has now climbed to over 10,000 two weeks after the massive earthquake and tsunami. thousands are still listed as missing. our cnn crew experienced some of the danger in the disaster zone firsthand. brian todd is back here in washington, safe and sound, after he and his crew witnessed some unbelievable events over the past few weeks. what stood out most in your mind, brian? >> i think the thing that strikes out most is in looking back is the level of devastation when standing in it. the pictures we sent back told a
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great story. when you're standing in the middle of it and you see the sweep of devastation and start to realize the sheer force of the water and what it must have done then you start picture what it must have been like to be there or on slightly higher ground and watch everything swept away. it's overwhelming. you couldn't help but be sympathetic to people who lived through it and those who did not. >> you went with a team from northern virginia in fairfax county. what were the biggest challenges you had in covering the story? >> one was something you may find simple. just walking 10, 15 feet. you had to navigate through some of the incredible rubble we're showing. i took my camera -- this is an image of me following a rescuer, but i took my camera and tried to navigate that while filming myself. here's a look at how i did. part of the complication is just walking one place to another. see this area behind me, it's
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just a few feet away. i can't walk 15, 20 feet without having to just navigate through some -- well, i'm going to take you through it. i have to go down here and the camera's probably going all over the place because i'm in a ravine of debris. i have to start this way, come up here, watch my balance. everything is slippery, of course, because it's snowing. now i'm here and now i can kind of walk. >> sharp objects, twisted metal, concrete. not easy to walk around for anybody. another challenge was transmission. we transmitted by a be-gan or a satellite computer hookup where you can transmit images. costs $16 a minute. the computer has to point in a certain direction to hook up with the satellite. that was a challenge. another challenge, you have seen these before. m.r.e.s, meals ready to eat like the army in wartime.
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3,000 to 6,000 calories but you have to prepare it in a certain way. my producer gave a demonstration of how to do it. >> these are the rescuers from l.a. and fairfax county that cnn is embedded with. here is the standard issue sleeping bag and cot some of the folks have been in. also standard issue, meals ready to eat. meals in a pouch. add water, heat them and you're ready to go. >> we were eating those for eight straight days. i want to say a word about the team. these guys are true heroes. i would not go anywhere without those guys. they never complained about the dangers. never said, gee, i don't think we should go in there. they charged in ahead of me and with me every time. i didn't deserve these guys. they were the real heroes of the story. >> you were blessed to have them and we were blessed to have all three of you covering the story for us. thank you very much. didn't get a shower for a week? >> about a week. you didn't want to go near us in
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the last few days. >> glad you're home. thank you very much. we'll have much more coming up here in "the situation room." nato is taking charge of the no-fly zone over libya, but there are unanswered questions about how far it will go. the former native supreme allied commander is here in the situation room with special insight. plus, the fall of mubarak hasn't meant the end of abuse and torture in egypt. we are snow speaking with victims. they are speaking out. "unlimite" in the dictionary. nowhere in the definition did i see words like... "metering," "overage," or "throttling"... which is code for slowing you down. only sprint gives you true unlimited calling, texting... surfing, tv, and navigation on all phones. why limit yourself? [ male announcer ] sprint. the only national carrier to give you true unlimited. find out more at sprint.com. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com. [ male announcer ] sprint. the only national carrier to give you true unlimited.
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since the allied air strikes began the libyan opposition has consolidated the hold over benghazi, the country's second largest city. people have openly demonstrated in support of the air campaign, but the rebels say the stronghold was secured in large part by the actions of one man. cnn has the story from benghazi. we must caution you, the report
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contains disturbing images. [ shouting ] >> reporter: rebel fighte in street clothes going head to head with the libyan army tank. the amateur video purportedly shot last week a dramatic glimpse of the war for libya, pitting civilians against gadhafi's heavily armed forces. despite being severely outgunned, this is what rebel fighters did last month to the regime's military barracks in what is now the opposition capitol of benghazi. the destruction of the compound the turning point in the fight for the key city. to many here this was the hero of the fight. a 49-year-old oil company worker, husband, father of two, the best way to help the opposition, he decided, was to sacrifice his life. his two teenage daughters say they had no idea what their
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father had planned. his wife, too distraught to appear on camera. we're not able to express how much we miss him, says sajeda. we miss him a lot says her sister zuhur. he was with us every moment of our lives. this is where he gave his lives, the old military bar racks in again geo. on february 19, rebel fighters surrounded it and they were facing heavy firepower. they were trying to get inside the military barracks and they couldn't. they needed something to shift the momentum. he packed the car full of plastic car fuel containers in cooking gas cylinders. witnesses say he parked his car right over there where the suv is and prayed and read the koran for 30 minutes. he sped to the main gate where he blew himself and his car up. this is a picture of his best
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friend abdul farroud carrying his remains after the blast. >> if i didn't see his body in the car i couldn't believe it. >> reporter: he said the suicide attack sent troops running, clearing the way for rebelle fighters to overtake the barracks. >> he's a real hero. >> reporter: for opposition forces the taking of the barracks was a monumental victory, made possible, they say, by one of hundreds of civilians who have died in the war for libya. for two daughters, the loss of their father is heartwrenching, but one they say they are honored to live with. he did something very important, we're definitely very proud of him. cnn, benghazi, libya. >> how far is the u.s. willing to go in libya? juan carlos lopez of cnn espanol posed the question to president
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obama during his latin american tour earlier in the week. >> can you, will you give military support to the rebels? >> well, obviously we are discussing with the coalition what steps can be taken. i think that our hope is that the first thing that happens once we clear the space is that the rebels are able to start discussing how they organize themselves, how they articulate their aspirations for the libyan people and create a legitimate government. and, you know, potentially what we may see is that all the enthusiasm the libyan people had for a change in government that was occurring a few weeks ago but that gadhafi, through just brutal application of force, made people fearful, that that
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can resurface. it may be that it's not a matter of military might, but instead an idea that's come to the libyan people that it's time for a change that ends up ultimately sweeping gadhafi out of power. >> nato announced it will assume command of the no-fly zone over libya. still lingering questions about protecting civilians on the ground. listen to what the nato secretary general told me in "the situation room" thursday night. >> it will be a nato command, but i also have to say that we will include contributing partners from the region in this operation. it's of outmost importance to stress that this is not primarily a nato operation. it is a broad international effort in which we will include partners from the region that
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have pledged to contribute to this protection of civilians in libya. >> all right. let's get more on what it all needs from retired u.s. army general george joulwan. thank you very much for coming in. do you have a good appreciation now? it looks like nato will be in charge of this operation, but there are still lingering questions. >> a lot of questions. i would hope that the ministerial meetings coming up and the meeting in london in particular. >> next tuesday? >> yes. will help clarify that. i think what needs to happen, there has to be unity of command as you go forward here. you can't say one person or agency will do this on the ground and the other in the air. nato is, i think, the body to do that. so i think you're going to come to some agreement here that nato will be in charge in the air and on the ground. >> they say the model they are looking at is afghanistan where there is a u.s.-led operation, a
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nato operation, nonnato members participating. does it make sense to do what they are doing in afghanistan in libya? >> i think it can be looked at. but one of the challenges here is that i haven't seen the discussion of ground forces -- nato ground force there is as we have in afghanistan. >> they don't want to send -- the united states -- the president says no u.s. ground troop wills go in. >> so i think you need to understand as you come up with the command and control arrangement that you will not have ground forces involved. at least not initially. so i think the afghan model could be looked at. i think the bosnian model can be looked as as well on how that was handled, but you have to get agreement on the mission and on who's in charge. that has to come first. >> as far as the mission is concerned what's confusing to a lot of us from the beginning is that this united nations
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security council resolution, 1973, says the mission is to protect civilians and create a no-fly zone. but the president of the united states says the objective has to be that gadhafi must go. now, that's a mission beyond what the u.n. has authorized. >> it's confusing. i think what we have to do -- and i would hope after these meetings -- is get rid of the confusion and get clarity about what you're going to have this very powerful organization called nato plus all the other partners that will come with it, what you want them to do. really, what is the end state that we are looking for? >> the notion now that a canadian will be the commander of this mission, this no-fly zone plus related mission in libya, is that ever a problem for u.s. troops to be under the command of a nonamerican? >> no. we had american ground forces, say, in bosnia under the ale lied rapid reaction core, a three-star british general that was out of germany.
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this has happened. that's what the integrated command structure of nato was all about. that's why getting the command structure in place is extremely important and not winging it here, get something in place that can give good command and control and clarity of mission. >> the clarity of mission is critical now. what is the end result and what is is exit strategy? >> first of all, i read the 1973 u.n. resolution. there is some very, very clear points in there that has to be made. the challenges for the military commander, which i found, again, in the balkans was to operationalize that. what does it mean to take all necessary steps? how do you translate that? how do you translate peace accords into a mission? that is what i hope happens in the next few days. >> should the u.s. and nato and others arm the rebels? >> again, that's a challenge. then what?
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if they get in trouble are we going to support them on the ground? we put an seclusion zone around sarajevo. there was an interentity boundary neither side could cross. you have to be careful as you get the clarity of mission, what do you mean? i think you need a separation in my view. put an exclusion zone where nobody can fire and you can take action if nobody does. but all necessary means is a powerful statement. >> would that also include the united states jamming libyan state radio and television broadcasts? >> i would put it under the larger rubric of nato doing it. once you have nato involved it's called rules of engagement. i worked hard to get clarity here. those things need to be hammered out. it can be done and jamming is one of them. >> the regional unrest, you have watched the middle east, north
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africa region for a long time. it's almost breathtaking what's happening now. >> there is great opportunity here. that's why it's very important. nato, by the way, since 1994 has had something called the mediterranean dialogue which with all the nations around the mediterranean were part of that. it's been going strong. i think it's an outreach here to create a much wider -- israel is part of that, by the way. i think there is opportunity here in this region of unrest that i think also if we do it right we can take advantage of. >> general, thank you very much for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> general joulwan, the former nato supreme allied commander. allegations of abuse and torture post mubarak revolution. plus, elizabeth taylor. we take a closer look at her life and legend. or cadillac . push your onstar button and you could be one of them.
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the libyan government is claiming civilians have been casualle tis in the coalition attacks against the gadhafi regime, but there doesn't appear to be evidence that's the case. once again, here's cnn's international correspondent nic robertson. >> reporter: a drive will you tripoli's streets is a window on a city at war. the roads, quieter than normal. half the stores closed. like all trips we take, government officials determine when and where we go. this one to the south of the city, not quite as they planned. about 30 minutes ago the government took us to set off on a trip to find a civilian house they said had been damaged in
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bombing. they said there was a military civilians nearby but civilians were wounded. collateral damage they said. we have been driving for half an hour. 20 minutes in one neighborhood around what seems to be a heavily guarded walled compound. they still can't find the house and they have been stopping to talk to people along the way. but they are not talking to the people of the streets here. this is a government convoy. most likely people around here, even if they knew anything, wouldn't tell government officials. about 12 hours earlier, not long after moammar gadhafi's defiant speech, state tv ran a video it claimed showed civilians being pulled from burning rubble. that's the place we were expecting to be taken. after more waiting at the roadside, not far from a large military installation, there is still no help for the government officials. well, after another ten minutes of indecision, we are moving on again. i'm not sure the drivers know where they are going this time, but we're going to find out.
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the day before when officials took us to see bomb damage at the harbor, residents flocked there, too, keen to see the strikes state tv doesn't broadcast. despite the pro-gadhafi rallies that have become a staple of governmental television, this is a city of apprehension and anxiety. regime opponents afraid to speak out, silently hoping for change. everyone worried a wider war may be coming. today our opportunity to find out more, all too brief. we have been brought back to the hotel. government officials couldn't find the house. here we are back at the hotel where this all began half an hour ago. our window closing until the next time. nic robertson, cnn, tripoli, libya. as we watch the unrest in north africa and the middle east unfold, many people around the world see the revolution in
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egypt as a success story. but the fall of the mubarak regime and celebrations thatle foll -- that followed came with a price. we are getting reports of all e alleged abuse and torture after mubarak was gone. ♪ >> reporter: a young egyptian singing a rebel song. ♪ >> reporter: in tahrir square, the epicenter of egypt's revolution, he raised his voice in protest during 18 historic days and nights which brought down a despot and left egyptians full of hope. >> you can sing anything you want without being afraid. >> reporter: look what happened to him nearly a month later. beaten, battered and scarred after soldiers detained him. >> translator: the torture took
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four hours. they removed my clothes. they used sticks, hoses, ropes. a man would jump in the air and land on my face with his legs. >> reporter: he was one of scores detained during this crackdown in tahrir square on march 9. troops arrested at least 17 women who were kept for days at a military detainment center. amnesty international says these, quote, women protesters were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers. then forced to submit to virginity tests. one of the women was this 20-year-old hairdresser. >> translator: they made us sign statements declaring whether or not we are injure vvirgins. >> reporter: she submitted to the test under threat of electrocution.
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>> during the test no one was standing except a woman and a male doctor. six soldiers were watching the backside of the bed. i think they were there to be witnesses. >> reporter: a spokesman for the egyptian military says some of the 17 women detained on march 9 received one-year suspended jail sentences but denied allegations of torture or virginity tests. he also said the ruling egyptian military council is preparing for a new law to make the kind of protests we saw here in tahrir square a criminal offense, punishable by jail time or huge fines. did you ever think you would see this type of behavior on february 12 after mubarak left? >> no. i'm shocked. i thought that kind of treatment went down with the regime. >> reporter: military police detained and interrogated human rights lawyer rajya for hours
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after she tried to monitor a polling station during the referendum on constitutional reform. she was among many concerned citizens at this recent civil society debate on board a boat in the nile river. what happened to the revolution we began in tahrir square, she asks the audience. what happened to the revolution we created? ivan watson, cnn, cairo. lots of work in egypt has to be done. meanwhile, the world is mourning on icon. just ahead, more on the death of elizabeth taylor. 's a four-bedrm traditional home on an acre-and-a-half landscaped yard. the master suite has two walk-in closets and a completely updated master bath. there's a totally renovated chef's kitchen, with updated stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a butler's pantry. it's got a screened-in back porch, plenty of storage and a large backyard. it's the perfect home.
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hollywood has lost an icon. so has washington will lisa sylvester is here now with more on the legendary actress, elizabeth taylor who passed away this week. >> a lot of people are mourning. she was actually in her first movie in 1942. she moved around in hollywood with the like of frank sinatra, liza minnelli and michael jackson. she was also at one point a politician's wife. john warner served for five terms, credits her for helping him win the first senate race. she was a woman with ruscher and fuller stories than some of her made-up characters. elizabeth taylor, the star with the velvet eyes. she was married eight times. twice to the same man. she was even the wife of a senator. john warner, who remembered her. >> on behalf of myself, my children, and the children of elizabeth's family, thank you
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for all the heartfelt condolences that you've expressed for this iconic figure. >> reporter: throughout her life, she had a profound impact. as an actress, twice winning an oscar. and as a starlet with the biggest names in los angeles and washington in her orbit. here she is at president ronald reagan's inaugural gala. >> a friend for all seasons. the chairman of the board, mr. frank sinatra. >> reporter: her celebrity status helped make an early and lasting impact on the fight against hiv and aids, lobbying washington. they named the medical center after her. >> once those violet eyes looked ought, you were never the same again. in the community, she is beloved. and i think for the rest of the world, it is going to take a while before people truly understand what we've lost in her that issing.
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>> reporter: outside the clinic, mourners have brought flowers and a note of thanks to liz taylor. she was 79 years old. in a news release mourning her passing, the clinic said she was in fact first hollywood activist talking about hiv aids. this after the death of her good friend and fellow actor rock hudson. >> we will miss her. thank you for that report. ♪ [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. ♪ cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity.
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basic. preferred. at meineke i have options on oil changes. and now i get free rdside assistance with preferred or supreme. my money. my choice. my meineke. here's a look at some shots in california. flowers rest atop elizabeth
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taylor's star. in india, cricket fans watch a sunset before the world cup. in moscow, the russian president contemplates a piece of contemporary art. and in england, the conservationist inspects a beetle during a nationwide insect survey. hot shots. a picture is worth a thousand words. enforcing the no fly zone over libya is no laughing matter. many people seem to think the name of the operation is. here's cnn. >> reporter: it dawned on the military to animal it -- >> operation odyssey dawn. >> the mission was being called operation odyssey dawn. >> reporter: thus began an odyssey of insults. >> odyssey dawn? that's not a military operation. that's a carnival cruise ship. >> reporter: well, a cruise ship isn't so bad. >> odyssey dawn? you really named a combat operation after a yes album? >> reporter: no. there is not a yes album called
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odyssey dawn. it is a joke. >> odyssey dawn. i believe it is a military operation named for a stripper. >> reporter: you probably never met a stripper named desert storm. humanitarian missions tend to have inspiring names like operation restore hope or provide comfort. so what is with odyssey dawn? >> it was absolutely random. >> reporter: u.s. africa command says they were given three sets of words, beginning with certain letters to choose from. >> odyssey dawn does not mean anything really. >> no, not at all. there was maybe about 50 words that they looked over. so they chose at random the word odyssey and then someone threw out the idea of maybe dawn being the second word. >> reporter: some humorists can't stop. just one odyssey dawn joke. andy put out tweet after tweet. for instance interesting pentagon says they went with operation odyssey dawn because
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their first choice, spiderman turn off the dark was taken. and he started taking nominations for better names. folks suggested titles like operation enduring instability. our favorite suggestion from andy, operation liquid dawn. you know, winston churchill once objected to the word soap suds for an american bombing raid. he thought it was inappropriate for an operation in which men might lose their lives. the name was changed to tidal wave. as for those in the media asking viewers for titles better than odyssey dawn -- >> come on. how hard can it be? >> reporter: andy is suggesting operation dawn go away i'm no good for you. ♪ >> reporter: or the four seasons might be over moammar gadhafi's head. cnn, new york. >> that's it for me today. thank you very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer.

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